The cornerstone of Western Civilization is the Roman Empire. A figure known as the epitome of this era is Julius Caesar. Seen by some as a defender of people’s rights and seen by others as a dictator who caused the fall of the Roman Republic, Julius Caesar (JC, Caesar, Julius) is a controversial leader. Whichever way he is viewed, he was one of the most prominent figures of the ancient world and played an instrumental role in the emergence of the Roman Empire from the Roman Republic. Caesar’s greatest personal achievement was the conquest of Gaul. The area, now known as France owes its culture, language, and architecture to Caesar. JC was an ambitious politician and knew that to be successful he must have a reputation as a successful general and the support of the army. So he set to conquer Gaul. Gaul had been one of Rome’s most threatening domestic enemies for its entire existence. Roman citizens referred to the people of Gaul as Barbarians.
JC’s conquest of Gaul not only quelled the Barbarians as a threat but it brought riches, slaves, jobs, and land to Rome. With his brilliant leadership of the Roman legions he gained fierce loyalty. After serving as proconsul in Spain in 61 BC, Julius returned to Rome hoping to be elected consul. He formed an alliance with two men named Pompey and Crassus. Pompey held the position of commander in chief of the army and Crassus was the most wealthy man in Rome.
Their alliance was known as the First Triumvirate. Caesar became consul and one of the first things he did was provide land for 20,000 citizens and veterans. in 55 BC, JC led expeditions to
Britain and in 54 BC he defeated the Britons. By the end of a series of wars in 52 BC, Julius
Caesar had gained control of all of Gaul. His massive victory is attributed to his considerable skill as a military leader. JC was a war genius who was quick to make prudent decisions and was known to have a close relationship with all of the soldiers in his legion.
While Caesar was having his victories in Gaul, his ally Pompey had been leading towards the senatorial party. Conditions in Rome became agitated and Pompey began to be jealous of
Julius Caesar's triumphs. When Crassus died in 53 BC, the First Triumvirate dissolved and
Caesar and Pompey became rivals. At this point the senate favored Pompey and Feared JC’s power. In 50 BC, Caesar wrote a letter to the senate stating that he would give up his army if
Pompey gave up his. The senate illegally demanded that Caesar disband his army presently or be an enemy of the republic. Luckily for Caesar, he had some supporters within the senate. Marc
Antony and Quintus Cassius Longinus, two tribunes, vetoed the bill and were promptly ejected from the senate. Antony and Cassius then joined Caesar and his army against the senate in the
Civil War. When they got to Rome, the senate immediately vacated to Capua. Caesar pursued
Pompey but could not catch him so he (Caesar) remained in Rome as dictator for long enough to be elected consul. Ultimately Pompey fled to Egypt and was killed there. However Caesar followed him there and stayed in Egypt, fraternizing with Queen Cleopatra. Caesar returned to Rome with the title of tribune of the people and the power of a dictator. He showed his noble character by pardoning all of his enemies. He also helped reform living conditions by passing laws that improved housing conditions. He generally had a philosophy of raising up the plebeians and